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July 2014

My always forever answer for the "what's the best thing about blogging" question

Long long ago I gave a toast at a wedding and it was awful. Awful. I'd stressed about it for weeks, was still writing it while having my hair done, and then when it was finally time to speak, no one understood what I was saying through all the CRYING. I have no memory of what I said, only the crying and the pausing to control the crying and the feeling like an utter FOOL. A few tears during a wedding toast is charming and sweet. Not being able to HEAR the wedding toast for all the SOBBING is just embarrassing. 

But when Liz and Adam invited all their people to a farewell gathering a week or two ago I was determined, for the first time in my life, to try this toasting thing again. I even had notes, which I'd typed up on my phone for easy access. I had ten years on my previous toasting experience, which is ten years' worth of increased not-caring-what-people-think. Also this gathering would be in a bar, so I would have ample opportunity to liquor myself up. BONUS.

The farewell gathering at the bar, however, was very loud and very crowded and I would have had to stand on top of the table and shout at the top of my lungs for my toast to be heard and, well, that required a kind of bravery even ten years older and liquid courage could not provide. So I had fun chats with the people sitting near me and then I went home, not even speaking to the host and hostess beyond "hello" and "goodbye". 

You know where introverted awkward people end up giving thwarted toasts? 

Ahem. 

TO LIZ (and Adam, whom we so very much adore, but mostly) TO LIZ, without whom the last six years of my life would be shabbier, duller, and a lot more sober.

As a blogger, one's dearest wish is to be taken seriously by your corner of the internet, to inspire, to lead, to say fresh and refreshing things, to speak truth, to be KNOWN as a speaker of truth, and ABOVE ALL to MONETIZE. I had hoped, as a blogger, my byline would one day be seen by all the mommies in all the internetland, and that my ad network would reel in for me many hundreds (dozens?) of dollars. I hoped the hope that any woman - frazzled and exhausted, with a baby and an internet connection and an English degree - hoped: to be PAID to WRITE. And for a few years, inexplicably and randomly, I was paid the grand sum of $20 per post for contributing to a Parenting.com blog. This, I felt sure, would propel me up the massive slope that was Internet Rockstardom. LOOK OUT, DOOCE!

I go to Mass on Sunday mornings - a fact I've never managed to integrate smoothly into my scintillating online musings - and on one of these Sundays, as I was packing up the diaper bag for my one single baby and getting ready to leave, a bright and cheery woman accosted me. 

"YOU'RE MIGHTY MAGGIE!" 

"I am?" I said. "I am!" 

"I READ YOUR BLOG!"

"You do!" 

"I RECOGNIZE YOU FROM YOUR PICTURE!"

"Oh!"

"I SAID TO MY HUSBAND, OH HERE HE IS, THIS IS ADAM, ADAM THIS IS MIGHTY MAGGIE, I TOLD HIM I THINK WE GO TO THE SAME CHURCH AS YOU AND I WAS RIGHT!"

I had gathered myself enough to realize I should introduce her to my husband and my one child - "This is my husband -" 

"OH, I ALREADY KNOW THEIR NAMES! HI JACKSON!"

(Maybe I am not remembering this exchange accurately, but eh, details.)

This was Liz. She became my friend. An Internet Friend, a real life friend, the Catholic friend I'd always hoped to have, the local stay at home mom friend I needed, the friend whose kids were the same age as mine, the friend who knew all my other friends, the friend I invited to my sister's wedding because my sister said, and it was true, "Oh sure Liz can come, she's practically family."

My longtime best friends, the Asian-American ladies I've had since my college days, well, they LIKED Liz (see above: Liz knew all my other friends), but they referred to her as my "white best friend", usually with a tinge of sourness. Of course I delightedly told Liz this, knowing she would enjoy the moniker as much as I did. 

I had a baby, then she had a baby, then I had a baby, then she had a baby. Then two more. We moved houses. Twice. We got involved in church stuff and regretted getting involved in church stuff. We did Blatherings together - can I just say how crazy special it is to have a Real Life Friend who speaks Internet? We enneagrammed ourselves. And our husbands. Oh, and when our HUSBANDS became friends? That was even better. 

I had my amazing online community, I had my amazing real life community, and God saw fit to give me Liz as well. Liz really IS a testament to the goodness of God in my life. It was as if the relationships he'd already blessed me with were not enough, as if there were a gap, as if he said to himself one day, "Maggie appears to be lacking in the Wine-Drinking Friend With Whom To Bitch About Twitter And Church Committees Department, let me see what I can do about that!" And lo, Liz appeared after Mass, daring me to deny that was MY picture on Parenting.com.

I fear I've been a shoddy friend this past year. I decided my small amount of free time would be best put towards opening a questionable business. My disinclination to drive anywhere grew, my aversion to playdates anywhere but your home or mine solidified. Our kids went to different schools. I started going to a different church. I was nowhere to be found these last few months as the this-move-is-actually-happening drama grew large and unwieldy. Had the situation been reversed Liz would have brought me dinner at least three times a week. I wish I had at least shoved a case of wine out of my van as we cruised by her house. 

Growing up on military bases, your good friends move away every summer. And then when you graduate college, your good friends might leave for new cities and opportunities. But it's been a very long time since a good friend moved away from me and I am out of practice. I have not yet processed what this means. I have not really explained it to my kids. I have mostly decided not to think about it. 

This is probably not a good plan. 

TO LIZ. To the time we almost missed our flight to Sacramento. To being the awesome moms in the moms group, back when the moms group was fun. To Twoness. To being my plus one for nearly everything. To the post-committee meeting texts. To bringing dinner out of the blue. To the time we prayed over your bedroom, before Fritz was born, when everything was about to happen. 

To Chicago, and husbands who are home more than they are away. So thankful. 

To the best thing I ever got out of blogging. 

At this point in the toast, know that I am gurgling all my words and no one understands me. It occurs to me that Liz's dad would have an appropriate inappropriate remark to lightheartedly cap things off, so I'll let him end it. He'll whisper it, and add something about an exciting and bright and joyful future that I would be too sad and selfish to add myself. 

All the best in your new endeavors, Liz and Family. All of us love all of you. 


Street Fair: Ready Set Go

Before I left for Edel, Katie and I tried to have a Street Fair Meeting and I say "tried" because we ALWAYS have at least two children underfoot, if not my big kids as well, and also it's not like we're in an office or something. It's HARD to have a focused and productive conversation about ANYTHING, let alone the fact that your baby baking business will have a booth at a street fair in one week and GUESS WHAT WE HAVE NEVER EVER DONE THAT BEFORE. 

I was nervous on the plane, is what I'm saying. 

But this morning I dropped the big kids at VBS and MIRACLE OF ALL MIRACLES, Emma and Rosie, my sweet yet terribly temperamental two-year-old niece, played together. Away from us. There is no way I can overemphasize the hell-freezing-over that is Emma and Rosie playing somewhere other than where their mothers are, let alone PLAYING TOGETHER. I MEAN. But Katie and I had been hauling ASS through our street fair agenda and suddenly we were both like - huh? wuh? And we spy EJ and Rosie in Rosie's room, trying on hats and laughing. For the teeniest tiniest second it seemed like we could actually pull this off. 

Our street fair "menu" consists of things we rarely sell and, in one case (whoopie pies), things we've NEVER sold. And this is because of time and storage and lack of refrigeration at the site and whether we want to individually package things. We are not selling cupcakes because we have Opinions about how cupcakes should look and we can't manage cute cupcakes that are also fresh and soft and not dried out with the amount of time and storage space available. (Hence whoopie pies - cake and frosting, just in a different order!) And we considered selling SLICES of cake, but the difference between selling someone a slice of cake and selling someone a slice of cake with a plastic FORK so they can EAT it is (dum de dum dum) sales tax. WE CANNOT BOTHER WITH SALES TAX. (Also, yes, this is the rule. Baked goods sold with UTENSILS must include tax. Baked goods tossed in a bag and thrown at the customer do not include tax. BEATS ME, INTERNET.)

So. We are looking at some scones and quickbreads, our sugar cookie rosettes frosted in rainbow colors, whoopie pies, brownies (s'mores and raspberry), and little bags of mini espresso shortbread and almond bars. Not at ALL what we first came up with to sell, not a selection that necessarily speaks to who we are, but we can 1) DO THIS and 2) STORE IT. I'm hoping to have enough time to put a photo album together of the fancier stuff we've done and set it out next to a stack of business cards and some of those foam shapes from JoAnn's frosted like a cake. I have the tent set up on my deck, I'm borrowing some tables, and this week is basically daytime: street fair practice/setup/prep and nighttime: baking. 

Anyway. I am feeling more confident than I was last week. I mean, I ALWAYS believe we can pull something off, it's the just QUALITY of what we pull off, right? I have no doubt in my mind that we can DO IT, but will it be GOOD? Now I'm feeling like HECK YEAH, this is going to be awesome. 

Of course my sister, Miss Pessimist, is looking at her list and saying, "We're just going to SIT THERE and watch people just WALK BY". And here I am Miss Eternally And Maybe Occasionally Foolishly Optimistic saying, "But we're the ONLY booth selling SWEETS! We will make a KILLING!" 

(I mean, if the fair is attended entirely by people with my sort of palate, yes, we will make a killing.) 

(I just want to break even at this point. We had to buy a FREEZER. It's our first fair! We'll make money at the second one! Maybe!) 

I mean, I am not wondering how early I can start drinking! This is good! Things feel POSSIBLE!

This has been the busiest month of my entire life, you guys. Well I don't know, maybe not, but in my own personal recent history, this has been the BUSIEST MONTH and part of me is totally digging it and part of me wants to lay down and sob "uncle". Power through! Power through! 

The kids are eating lunch and watching some DVRed Ruff Ruffman and I don't have anything I absolutely have to do this second so I might try to pound out an Edel recap over on the Catholic blog. I'll let you know. (And by "recap" I mean "the processing of an event entirely as it pertains to MEEEEE" so, you know, possibly not full of the recappiness you expect of an ACTUAL recap. FYI.)


Being an anxious and blond small business owner

This has been a REALLY weird week. And I think we should, in part, blame it on the weather. For two days now it's been pouring like it's November or something and it's VERY disorienting. More disconcerting than the rain is the DARK. It's DARK and I don't LIKE IT. 

But also this has been a hard MONTH and I am feeling it. I'm not sure if you're allowed to say you've had a hard month if part of your hard month was a week-long expenses-paid cruise to Alaska. Still, it's been a month (more like six weeks) of tough conversations, lots of business decisions, hard work to keep that business going, no routine, and lots of things keeping me and distracting me from things I want to focus on. It's no big shocker that my kids are pretty awesome at Minecraft at this point. 

AND I'm anxious again. Super! I am disappointed - I was hoping more than I wanted to hope that the supplements I'm taking for the MTHFR mutation were the Magic Cure. Then again, the anxiety I'm experiencing this month is so fantastically different than the anxiety I experienced even two or three years ago, that I can't sit here and say Oh Woe Is Me, Everything Is Back To Horrible. Because it's not. Even the handful of days of spectacularly bad anxiety this month have only been a handful - it used to be weeks upon months of this. But today I feel SO much better than I did yesterday, so much so that when I'm anxious now I have to say to myself, "Self? Don't decide anything today, wait until tomorrow." And it won't be just something I say to keep going, but something that is truthful. Yesterday I wanted to call the nearest quickest easiest doctor and beg for horse tranquilizers. Today I think, "Eh! See how it goes!

The way my body does this anxiety nonsense is SO much clearer to me now. I feel confident explaining how it works - IN ME. When you're in the middle of it rational thinking kind of disappears and I rely on my people to cheerlead me through it. But today I can look at yesterday and go, "Okay, so this is what was happening: X, Y, Z." And know that if the conditions are right, it can and will happen again, but that those conditions tend to improve and dissipate. 

It kicked in the night I bleached my hair. That night my hair - and I know this is stupid, but it's true - came to represent the stress of things that happened in the days before. I went to sleep feeling off and uncertain and woke up a few hours later, drenched in fear. It's so chemical! And fueled by circumstance! It's just awful. And the next day I could barely function, knowing that I had to go on a cruise in a few days, I had to pack, I had to take care of my kids, I HAD TO DYE MY HAIR BACK because every time I looked in the mirror I saw shame, guilt, irresponsibility, all sorts of terrible things. Everything except HAIR.

My friends prayed for me, that all the stuff that wasn't biochemistry would just leave me alone. And also that my biochemistry would start behaving. And it did. But this month has been so crazy that The Conditions are still "right" and there's been a low anxiety buzz in the background for weeks now. It kicked in again yesterday, and I think I know why, but it doesn't really matter, and I can't really control that anyway - what I can control is putting myself in places where managing it is easier. So I've been doing that. I've been a little bit worried about traveling to Austin tomorrow for the Edel Gathering (the gathering of Catholic lady bloggers, and while I am all those things, I have never been in a Just Catholic Lady Blogger setting, eep) but you know what? Today I feel fine about going to Edel. I am armed with sleeping pills, two different herbal remedies for anxiety that don't work but make me feel like I can take something to help, and also roommates who will take care of me if everything goes wrong. Except nothing has ever gone so wrong that I can't hang out with my friends and drink a glass or four of wine. 

This weekend is Edel. Next weekend is the street fair. The next weekend is the baking of 700 some cookies for our second subscription box mailing. I am OVERWHELMED. Katie is too. This is so so much for two moms of young children who have a million other responsibilities. Today we sketched out what we want to sell at the street fair and the menu is SO different than what I thought we'd do, but the reality of time and storage space and capability and heat etc. compelled us to choose items that would be gentle on our souls, instead of Presenting A Picture Of What We Can Really Do. 

And this weekend while I'm gone I might send Phillip to Costco with the bakery debit card to buy a chest freezer, of all things, because there's no space in our rental kitchen freezer and not NEARLY enough space in our home freezers and when I started a bakery business this is not something I thought about. 

OH THE THINGS I SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT!

Not that I am regretting anything. Not at all. I think what we are doing is NUTS and perhaps not good for my mental health or the cleanliness of our houses or having time for absolutely anything else (I MISS MY FRIENDS), but it's also been amazing. I mean, if we were to shut everything down today, it would still be amazing and one of the experiences I'm most proud of. I mean, WE KNOW NOTHING. But we've done THIS. And God knows what our street fair booth is going to look like, but dammit, WE ARE DOING A STREET FAIR BOOTH. 

Also? I freaking love my blond hair. I just do. It is not natural-looking, it will grow out, it has completely damaged the front chunk of my hair, but I REALLY LIKE IT so there. 

 


Maggie Cheung's Tips For Cruise Ships

1. Find a ruler. Now hold this ruler perpendicular to your body, maybe about chest level, and slowly move it around your personal circumference. Mentally deduct two to three inches from the ruler's length and this will give you a rough approximation of how much space you will have in your stateroom shower. In preparation for showering in this space may I recommend some sort of juice cleanse or fast, to shrink your body and add precious room to move in your Shower Closet (TM Lisa). 

2. Also, if you were to prepare with a juice cleanse or cabbage soup diet or some other suspicious crash diet, the 20 pounds you gain on a cruise could possibly just be a net gain of 10 pounds. Something to think about. 

3. Also in the shower! (A lot of my tips are shower-related.) There is just a plain fabric drop cloth hanging between you and an absolutely soaked bathroom. Try to position your showerhead so that you don't totally soak your Shower Closet, but more importantly, stuff the edge of your curtain into the little metal ridge running along the wall so that the shower curtain itself doesn't submit to the laws of physics or gravity or thermodynamics or WHATEVER IT IS and attempt to smother you while showering. That is the GROSSEST FEELING, is it not? The Wet And Used-By-Others Shower Curtain Saran-Wrap-Attack? UGH.

4. Bring a lot of cash. Lots and lots of cash. This is not for shopping in the glorified duty free stores on board the ship or for purchasing any drinks that are not water, coffee, or Unidentifiable "Juice" Drink (these are easily charged to your Sea Pass ID card!) no no no this cash is for TIPPING. Keep it in your suitcase until the very last day when you will spend hours partioning it out into little envelopes for the dozens of waitstaff who prevented your children from erupting into horrid twerpy brats the dining room, thereby enabling your SURVIVAL AT SEA.

5. Sea bands. OMG SEA BANDS. Curses on all those people who said, "Oh, cruise ships are so BIG! You won't feel it rocking at ALL!" These people are big fat humongous liars. Even people less sensitive than your trusty blogger felt the ship rocking at times, and you know what keeps you from barfing over the edge on a regular basis? SEA BANDS. They are some sort of Weird Alternative Medicine contraption that appear to make no sense, but they 1) won't put you to sleep like Dramamine 2) aren't prescription like that patch you can put behind your ear, but are 3) just ugly. But would you rather wear sweatbands with your formal dress or spend that evening throwing up in your Shower Closet? I'm just saying. 

6. The cruise ship will make a big stinking deal about their award-winning children's programs, but YOUR children, who love nothing more than Structured Guided Playtimes, will mope their way out of the first Adventure Ocean session mumbling about "boring". AND THEN WHAT DO YOU DO? At your first stop in Juneau you take the Courtesy Shuttle to WalMart and buy packs of cards and board games. And then: 

7. Find a Nice Quiet Place. There are dozens upon dozens of places to hang out on a cruise ship. This is because your stateroom is the size of your college dorm room (only with a king sized bed AND two bunks AND a Shower Closet) and no one in her right mind will choose to hang out in her stateroom WITH HER CHILDREN. HA HA HA. Plus, if you hang out in your stateroom, how will you hand over your Sea Pass card willy nilly to all the crewmembers happy to charge it for you? HOWEVER. You are sharing this cruise ship with TWO THOUSAND STRANGERS and they, too, are looking for a Nice Quiet Place. (Unless they are childless white folks in their late 40s to early 60s, and then they are Wild and Crazy, hogging the hot tubs and all the beer.) What I'm saying is: you need to find The Place where you and the kids can camp out for a few hours with games and books and iPads, where snacks are readily available. Don't wait until Day 3 or 4 to realize you need this place, Future Cruisers, DO IT IMMEDIATELY. The sooner you find Your Place, the sooner you will begin to ENJOY your cruise rather than wondering what in the HELL you have gotten yourself into for an entire WEEK.

8. We have now come to the How To Manage Mealtimes section of Cruise Ship Tips. ARE YOU READY? Okay, so for breakfast? (And lunch and dinner.) Your sit down meal will take, on average, two hours. TWOOOOOO HOURRRRRSSSSSSS. Now! Your trustly blogger is the type who thinks civilized people eat their evening meal at 8pm, that it SHOULD be a loungey easygoing time with plenty of wine and dessert. However! CHILDREN WILL NOT AGREE WITH YOU. Thank God you signed up for the First Seating (5:30ish mealtime) because you won't ACTUALLY eat dinner until 6:45. Bring your crayons! The kids' menus from the previous night and the night before! BRING THE IPAD, NO ONE WILL CARE. What is a lovely luxurious Nice Restaurant Dinner experience (every night!) for the adults is near torture for the kids. Even if they are delightful and well behaved kids. Two hours in a restaurant shoved up to a table full of food you don't want to eat is hard for one night let alone SEVEN. 

8.5 This is where you find out your dinner waiter is made of solid gold and deserves his weight in tips. 

9. BREAKFAST. We did sit down breakfast once. Because the cafeteria/buffet-style option is SO VERY CROWDED. However! Again! Your kids just want to eat cereal! (Or pancakes loaded with whipped cream and chocolate sauce and chocolate chips - hey, you're on a cruise ship) and both of these options are readily and quickly available in the cafe. DO THIS, even though it's crowded, because you are traveling with a whole bunch of other people and it's been agreed that Sit Down Dinner is your one big gathering time. Save your Sit Downs for Dinner! DO IT! Dinner is where you get your made-of-gold waiter, the one you think is super cute and sweet and kind and charming and friendly and helpful and MAYBE he is the best part of the cruise. Do not waste your sit downs on BREAKFAST!

10. Lunch! SKIP LUNCH. OMG, people, the eating eating eating. Phillip described the cruise the other day as, "Oh, and then I look at my watch, and it's already time to eat again!" YES. THIS. The last two or three days  of the cruise we realized that a big pancakey breakfast, a light snacky lunch from one of the snack bar type food acquiring areas, and a Sit Down Dinner was the way to go for us. One day we did the Sit Down for each meal, most days we did the buffet for breakfast and lunch and the Sit Down for dinner - our best days were the days we more or less skipped lunch. 

11. If your kid wears diapers they are not allowed in cruise ship pools. My experience hauling an indignant, confused, and CRUSHINGLY SAD Emma out of the pool - because a crewmember noticed she was wearing a diaper (A SWIM DIAPER) and people who are not potty trained are not allowed in cruise pools - soured at LEAST an entire day of our vacation, maybe more. The rule makes sense to me, but I DID NOT KNOW IT EXISTED and I felt TERRIBLE for HOURS. This was our first afternoon on the ship and I had no idea what to do with us or where to go or WHAT and it was TERRIBLE and I BLAME YOU, ROYAL CARRIBBEAN. (Maybe I should read up on vacations before I take them.)

12. Don't waste half an hour wondering where the pull down beds in your stateroom are, and fretting over having to ask for a different room - your stateroom attendant, whose entire world revolves around your hallway of rooms, will blithely enter the room and pull the beds down from the CEILING and say, "No worries!" And you will feel stupid!

13. Speaking of your stateroom attendant: a large chunk of that cash I recommended you bring will go to him. I am not sure what kind of creature the stateroom attendant is. Nocturnal? WIthout need for sunshine? Every single time we left our room we returned to find it in pristine condition - linens straightened, towel animal amusingly propped, our pajamas folded, our toiletries lined up, our things moved to more sensible storage spaces. If you care very much about privacy may I recommend not getting your period on the first day of your cruise? Pro Tip. 

14. Shore Excursions. I have no tips for these because we did not do them. Ha! Maybe that IS my tip, since I will guarantee we spent less money than those people. I did throw some money down so my middle child could pan for gold in Skagway, Alaska (for three minutes) (with a pre-filled pan) and she enjoyed this, but we found this opportunity without the middle management of the cruise ship and I was with my Bargaining Is Always An Option! SIL so we paid, like, half price. 

15. I assumed that part of the draw of cruising is the tropical weather... which you don't really get on an ALASKA CRUISE. Those you take for the scenery, yes?! Try to go on your cruise when the scenery is not shrouded in clouds! Pro Tip!

16. All right, all right, I am a giant pain in the ass about weather and scenery and blah blah NATURE, but the Tracy Arm Fjord? With the glacier that comes down right to the water? I quickly forgave the ship captain for waking me up on my stateroom loudspeaker at 7am, imploring me to "Get up! And enjoy the beautiful view!" I mean

17. The Cruise Ship Thing the Cheungs As A Whole enjoyed the most was the live music and dancing. The Cheung brothers are a musical pair and their children like to boogie. Quite possibly the best moment of the cruise was watching all the grandkids own the dance floor in their "formal" wear while the nightly easy-listening band crooned Killing Me Softly and Oye Como Va.  

I suppose those are my thougths on Cruise Ships In General. Tomorrow I may have some Alaska-Specific Tips. And maybe some Grown Up Specific Tips. Like how the dude at the pool bar will pour you a glass of wine TWICE the size of what you get in the restaurants. Pro Tip! 


Life Fails and other quick thoughts I must dash off so I can think about something else

I owe you a huge, no really, HUUUUUUGE, cruise review post. And I have a LOT to say. 

But! Right now! I am feeling so overwhelmed and upset-ish and wondering if there's anything I can do... see, since I started a business

my hopes for a deck container garden have crashed and burned, as in nearly all the plants are dead or on their way to dead

my yard is more overgrown and hideous than when we moved in

the laundry room has become a I Really Need To Throw This Out room

Emma's room is half kid room, half playroom disaster, half bakery storage (that totally adds up to a whole)

I never clean my kitchen anymore, beyond doing the dishes, and it NEEDS it, even with professional housecleaning every other week

I haven't done a single house project and my house NEEDS ME

It's the yard stuff that's getting to me this week. I came home from the cruise and looked outside into the backyard and with an extremely sinking feeling I realized it's the middle of JULY - another year I don't fix up the yard and make it decent. 

My excuses in previous years were 1) pregnant 2) immobile baby 3) I planted a garden but the damn raccoons ate all my seedlings AND we redid the deck creating backyard havoc for months. This year it's the bakery. My top priorities are Handing Out Snacks and Keeping A Baby Bakery Business Running. Everything else is TOTALLY COMPLETELY HORRIBLY falling by the wayside. 

Even seeing my friends. And I am normally extra super good at making time for friends. 

I just... it's OKAY that my yard is a mess. It is. I am not a bad person for having a disaster yard. I am not even an IRRESPONSIBLE person for having a disaster yard. Or dead plants. Or nothing pretty by my front door. Or only a handful of green beans to show for the $$$ I spent on plants and containers for the deck this summer. Or the fact that I don't feel we have properly USED our outdoor space this summer. THINGS HAVE BEEN BUSY AND I CAN'T DO EVERYTHING RIGHT? RIGHT.

 


Really REALLY quick takes

This was the first anniversary I didn't write about on my website. Number eleven. I feel... fine about it, actually. I think my first anniversary post was Two. That's a lot of anniversary posts. And his birthday comes up so quickly afterwards! So: on June 28 we celebrated 11 years of marriage by hanging out with my family at the beach and hosing sand off our three children. 

Here is a quick Phillip story. He just told me that he has this fear that he's going to get sick right before the cruise and they won't let him on the boat. He is not even the slightest bit sniffly. What is the word for someone who is terrified of getting sick, but not like CANCER sick, just "I have a tickle in my throat and now I have to lay in bed for a week" sick? 

Anyone bought anything from an ecommerce site called Storenvy? Heard of it? It looks pretty cool - it's a free alternative to Etsy. I'm hunting for a way to sell some of our super standard stuff online without putting people through that whole email process. I can't get rid of the email process - we ARE special order! 

Storenvy also uses Square, which I muchly prefer to PayPal. 

Thumbprints shipped 23 cookie subscription boxes this weekend. This afternoon, actually. We spent the whole weekend baking and packaging and preparing and boom, they're out. 23 doesn't actually sound like very many, but 1) I thought we'd get MAYBE 5 subscriptions and 2) there are only 2 of us. With small children. And husbands with full time jobs. So. 

Sometimes I think it's wildly inappropriate to share Insider Bakery Info with you. But isn't that what blogs are for? Who's going to fire me?

I keep remembering I am going to Edel and getting excited. How sad is it when you keep FORGETTING that you are going on a big time out of town ladies' weekend? 

I keep forgetting because first I am going on a CRUISE. Which I have actually become quite excited about. This is due to a number of Fancy Dresses I have acquired and we all know how much I love THOSE. I was telling my MIL about the clothes I bought for the kids for "formal night" and she rolls her eyes and tells me not to worry about Formal Nights, they are maybe not as formal as I think. BUT GUESS WHAT, Royal Carribbean, I am going to wear my beaded dress ANYWAY and my kid is going to WEAR THAT TIE. 

I have yet to talk to anyone who did not like the Alaska cruise. But I still need to buy those seasickness bands. 

I really really really want to go get a pedicure, but all the places I know close at seven. And it's six fifty six. BAH.